Ninh Binh Travel Guide
- on Sep 14, 2018       By: LucyH
It’s 93 km from Hanoi to Ninh Binh toward the South, Ninh Binh is the economy and culture junction of the Northern Delta and the Northwestern mountain area. Being blessed with a favour of nature and a rich, colourful history, Ninh Binh owns a large number of exceptional sights also historical and cultural sites.
Am Tien - Ninh Binh
Compare with other Provinces in the Red River Delta, Ninh Binh has the largest forest area with 27.101ha. In particular, Cuc Phuong
Forest is a typical rainforest with many rare species of animals and plants.
The important natural resources are concentrated in the limestone mountains stretching over Nho Quan, Gia Vien, Hoa Lu, Tam Diep and Yen Mo to the East Sea with the length of over 40 km and the area of over 1,200 ha. Due to the orogeny of over 200 million years ago, lots of beautiful caves were created such as Tam Coc, Bich Dong, Dich Long, Trang An, e
Ninh Binh has two main groups of ethnic people which are Kinh and Muong with the population of Muong people is over 20.000 ( 2.5% of the province population ). The rest are other ethnic groups including Tay, Thai, Nung, Dao, etc living in the parishes of Nho Quan District.
Ninh Binh Weather
Ninh Binh has hot summer with high precipitation rate and cold, dry winter. Basing on the tropical climate, Ninh Binh has the average temperature of 23.6℃ and average air-humidity is 79%.
It’s rain season from May to September with the average temperature of 29.2℃. Winter or dry season starts from November to March with the average temperature of 15.2℃. There is a transition period between the two seasons ( April and October ) makes it feels like Ninh Binh has all four seasons.
How to travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh is about 93 km apart from Hanoi toward the South. It’s very convenient to travel to Ninh Binh to Hanoi through the 1A Highway, the 10 Highway, the 12A, 12B or the North-South Railway. Therefore, you can choose to travel by road or railway
Railway to Ninh Binh
You can book a ticket online here and choose the date you prefer to leave, or buy one from the rail station at 120 Le Duan. There are 6 trains every day. The price fluctuates from 90.000VND ( about $4) to 200.000VND (about $9) depending on the kind of train and seat.
Bus to Ninh Binh
You can come and catch a bus from these bus stations: Giap Bat, My Dinh, Nuoc Ngam. There is a bus available every 30 minutes. The trip is around 2 hours long with the price of 80.000VND ( about $3.5)
VIP Bus to Ninh Binh
There are two most credible suppliers for this service that are Binh Minh Limousine and XEVietnam. With 130.000VND ( about $6) passengers can travel from some certain places in Hanoi to Ninh Binh. Each bus is equipped with high-quality interiors and contains only 11 people so you can enjoy a very comfortable drive with a price that can not be more reasonable. The buses are active from 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM
XEVietnam Hanoi - Ninh Binh
Motorbike to Ninh Binh
From Hanoi city centre toward Giai Phong Street, pass over Giap Bat Bus station for about 3 km, turn left to get into Phap Van - Cau Gie Highway, from there go along the Highway to Phu Ly, then Ninh Binh.
It takes around 2 hours to get to Ninh Binh.
Hanoi - Ninh Binh Map
When to visit Ninh Binh
You can come to Ninh Binh any time during the year. But the time for the best experience, it should be from January to March ( Lunar Calendar ) when the weather is not too cold or too hot. Moreover, April and May is the Cuc Phuong butterfly hunting season; from the end of May to June is the perfect time to go sightseeing in golden paddy fields or endless lotus swamps interspersing among limestone chains.
Unmissable tourist destinations in Ninh Binh
Being blessed with spectacular landscapes, Trang An was recognized as a world cultural and natural heritage by UNESCO. The landscape of Trang An is formed with a river system among limestone chains creating an infinite number of spectacular caves.
It takes 3 to 4 hours to finish Trang An tour. You should start in the morning to avoid the burning sun in the midday or make sure that you have with you suncream, sunglasses and a hat or an umbrella because there. With the tickets, you can choose to go sightseeing on the first route or the second route. The first one goes through 9 caves and 500 chiselled steps descending from ledges. The second one goes through 4 caves, Skull Island and The Kong Movie scenes.
Trang An - Ninh Binh
Tam Coc - Bich Dong
Tam Coc ( 3 caves ) includes The Big Cave ( Ca Cave) the Second Cave ( Hai Cave ) and The Third Cave ( Ba Cave ). All of them are created by the flow of the Ngo Dong River. This place is compared to the on-land-Halong Bay with the picture-postcard sights. From the Ngoa Long ( sitting dragon ) you can have the overall view of Tam Coc - Bich Dong.
After finishing the Tam Coc tour you can visit the Bich Dong Pagoda which is ordained as Tam Thien De Nhi Dong ( The Second Cave in the Three Worlds) after Huong Tich Cave.
Tam Coc top mountain view
Am Tien Cave
Most of the Am Tien area is waterlogged valleys surrounded by mountain cliffs. Long ago, Am Tien Cave was in the halfway of the mountain, 205 stone-steps up from the mountain base. But now there is a tunnel going through the mountain to get into the cave. An Tiem Cave has the shape of a dragon mouth so it is also called Hang Rong cave.
Am Tien cave
Van Long Swamp
Fully having the features of a wetlands ecosystem, Van Long Swamps attracts thousands of different kinds of bird and 40 kinds of rare langur and Delacour's langur.
There are two directions to visit Van Long. The main one leads to Kem Tram - Hang Bong. If you are an animal lover, the second one should be an ideal choice where you may see langurs going out to the swamp for water. The entrance fee is 75.000vnd/adult ( about $3.5) and takes 1.5 hours to visit
Stork population in Van Long Swamp
Cuc Phuong National Park
Locating deeply in Tam Diep Mountain chain, Cuc Phuong National Park, the first national park of Vietnam, has a various ecosystem where you can experience ecotourism, retreatment, camping or other researching and studying activities in history and culture. Don’t miss the butterfly hunting season from the end of April to May, also be careful if you are allergic with pollen grain or butterfly powder on wings.
A waterfall Cuc Phuong National Park
Thung Nham is another tourist attraction that is 4 km from Tam Coc. It takes a whole day to visit Thung Nham or even two if you want to explore the place thoroughly. Coming to Thung Nham you will have the chance to see with your own eyes the life of about 50 thousand individuals. Especially in sunsets, Thung Nham leaves tourists speechless with its primal, original beauty when thousands of birds, flocks flying, covering the whole wetland that rarely found in any other place.
Thung Nham bird garden
Hoa Lu - The ancient capital
Hoa Lu is once the capital of ancient Vietnam ( Dai Co Viet ) including the temples of King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh, both are in Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province, not very far from Trang An. Although it had been the capital just for 42 years,it was the witness of many important events that directly related to the fortune of the country such as the history of three continuous reigns which are Dinh - Tien Le – Ly, nation union, defeated Tong army from China, disencumbered Chiem army from Champa and prepared for the process of setting up the capital in Hanoi.
The gate of Hoa Lu ancient capital
Phat Diem Church
The main church - Phat Diem or widely known as Phat Diem stone church is a complex of Catholicism which is 22 ha wide locating in Phat Dien town, Kim Son District. Phat Diem stone church is rated as one of the most beautiful churches in Vietnam being compared to “Catholicism Capital” of Vietnam. It’s hard to come to Phat Diem without feeling astonished by its massive and unique design. With the time flow, Phat Diem is becoming more and more ancient and majestic.
Inside look of Phat Diem church
The highlight of Mua Cave is Ngoa Long Mount ( Sitting Dragon Mount) with a twisty, wavy road from the foot to the top of the mountain which is compared to the Great Wall of Vietnam. At the top of the mountain is a stone statue of a dragon which creates a very dignified vibe for the place. From that point of the mountain is a boundless view of where the sky meets the golden paddy fields which are superb and idyllic at the same time.
Ticket price: 100.000 VND ( about $4.5) per person
Stairs to the top of the mountain in Mua cave
Bai Dinh Pagoda
Talking about Bai Dinh Pagoda, people just immediately remember another title of it “the biggest pagoda in Southeast Asia” with many records such as the biggest bronze Maitreya Buddha Statue in Asia, the largest pagoda of Vietnam, the biggest gold - plated copper of Asia and the longest lobby in Asia. It is so overwhelming of the boundless pagoda precincts and two lines of 1001 Arhat Statues and Quanyin Buddha gold - plated patterns on the walls. Because the parking is pretty far from the pagoda gate, people choose electric van to get into the pagoda ( $1.25 per turn)
Apart from the above destinations, tourists can choose to visit some other temples, pagodas like Truong Han Sieu temple, King Le Dai Hanh temple, Thai Vi temple, Chau Son Monastery, Non Nuoc Pagoda, Kenh Ga hot spring, Dong Chuong Lake, Dong Thai Lake, Yen Thang Lake, etc
Ninh Binh has 75 traditional craft villages, many of them are put into operation as tourist destinations such as Van Lam passementerie village, Ninh Van stone sculpture village, Gia Thuy ceramic village, Kim Son sedge craft village, Phuc Loc joinery village, Binh Khang stone penjing village, etc
The biggest gold - plated Buddha statues of Asia
Vehicles to explore Ninh Binh
Rental fee :
Bicycle : 50.000VND to 80.000VND (about $2.25 to $3.5)
Motorbike : 100.000VND to 120.000VND ( about $4.25 to $5.5)
Taxi: around 10.000VND/km depending on the length of the travel
What to eat in Ninh Binh
"Cơm cháy”- Burnt rice
“Burnt Rice” is known as the most famous dish of Ninh Binh. Made from 100% pure rice, Ninh Binh “burnt rice” brings along with the crunchy texture and unique flavour of the ancient land that cannot be confused with any other province.
Speciality made from Goat meat
Hoa Lu is a land of goats breeding thanks to its limestone mountains. By living all year round in the mountains and eating the leaves and herb, the goats here provide tough, crunchy, low in fat meet that is sweet in taste and very nutritious. They bring goats processed into very rich dishes: goat lemongrass, goat noodle, goat and goat porridge.
fried goat meat - speciality dish
Mountain snails are a rare speciality since they live in rock niches and could be seen only in the rainy season from April to August to crawl to feed and reproduce. Mountain snails can be found everywhere in Ninh Binh Province, but most concentrated in the limestone mountains of Tam Diep, Yen Mo and Nho Quan.
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